BY MARCY PALMERI, Contributor
ST. PETERSBURG – A terrific way to start out the new year is by volunteering on a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Service project if you weren’t one of the lucky 50 to have one of your own.
The methods and offerings on the Day of Service differ greatly; ranging from feeding and clothing the homeless and underserved, to offering a variety of healthcare to reaching out to create awareness of one form or another. There’s something for everyone to offer as well as receive. It’s a day when hearts are open and the willingness to give is as strong as the need to receive.
This year the Cross and Anvil Human Services’ Day of Service project will offer free HIV/AIDS testing and informative literature to all. The center ordered and packed 120 backpacks with hygienic products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and wash clothes, and will give them away on Mon., Jan. 19 to those who come by in between the hours of 9 – 11 a.m.
Center Director, Dawn Bannister said they chose that time frame so people could come by and get the testing and resources they needed prior to enjoying the parade.
Along with the free HIV/AIDS testing, free fish sandwiches will be offered after a tour of the building that is located on 1201 7th Ave. S. in St. Petersburg.
For the past two years, Cross & Anvil Human Services have had a strong presence in Midtown by anticipating and meeting the needs of its residents.
The center offers a number of services to the community, one being a mentoring program for young men from failing or poorly performing schools such as John Hopkins Middle, Melrose Elementary and Lakewood High Schools.
They offer academic support services and tutoring on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-6:30 p.m.
“The program is made possible by retired school teachers who volunteer their time. The teachers instill proper etiquette, how to act and respond at school and in everyday life,” Bannister added.
They also provide veteran service programs that includes making referrals as well as educating them on what services are available; also, financial literacy, parental engagement and year round free HIV/AIDS testing and counseling is offered.
To find out more about other services offered, such as the free meal program for children under the age of 18 during summer break, to get involved with the ministry or for center hours, please call 727-821-0285 or 727-894-1393.
Cross & Anvil Human Services, Inc. is affiliated with Greater Mount Zion A.M.E. Church where Pastor Clarence Williams presides over his flock.